So, you have penned the great novel, short story or novella and now you wonder what comes next. With social media at your fingertips, it is easier to self publish and gain some form of payment for your work. However, there are many steps to becoming published and many ways to fowl up if you don't follow them properly.
1. Editing - Friends and family are ok, but a good quality editor will go a long way. The technical aspects of writing can be very tricky and these waters must be sailed by a knowledgeable editor. This person can not only catch your faux pas, they can help you learn what is acceptable in the writing field. In addition, hiring an editor shows that you are serious about your writing and what you produce for the reader.
2. Book Covers - Another important aspect of writing is the book cover. Finding a graphic artists that is experienced in creating, formatting and preparing your cover is the next big step. Remember, the cover is the first introduction to your book and it needs to attract the reader long before your words are read. Good cover artists can charge as little as $65 and increase exponentially based on their experience and their product. Keeping this in mind, shop around.
3. Publishers - Thanks to the birth of self publishing, indies have a variety of publishers from which to choose. And yes, you can submit to traditional publishers as well. In both cases, you will need to research what is required in order to submit and what genres they prefer. Also, research and study the publishing company of your choice. Find out their history, review their BBB report, make sure you are not falling for a scam.
4. Contract- Read the lines carefully, make sure you understand what is expected of you and you are expecting from the publisher. It is always good to have another pair of eyes on these documents. Lawyers, other authors, whomever you trust, take your time and review the print.
5. Work It!!- As an indie, landing the contract is 50%. The other 50% is marketing and in the indie world that means a lot of social media, book signings, radio promos, advertising in newspaper and whatever it takes. Now for your next question, yes you are doing this yourself. In the indie world, there are no big budgets for marketing or promotions. In most cases, the indie publisher works with various bloggers to promote the author and their work. Get ready to put in some serious time to make the dream a reality.
6. Write, write, write - enough said